Karyn Kulenovic invited me to participate in The Integrated Empath Summit earlier this year. Drop Your Label and Delight Yourself with Peace and Success fell into place with this theme for me as a subject for introverts to hear.
Both extroverts and introverts can be empaths with their sensitivity and creativity often being held back instead of released.
If as Kulenovic says, you’re going to use your “unique gifts, and create your success stories personally and in business,” you may have to drop your label.
Here’s a transcript of a portion of our interview of three strengths you have to help you do this.
Drop Your Label and Delight Yourself with Peace and Success
(starting at) 10:52
What are some introvert tendencies that are actually good? You know, good qualities to have and strengths to have? Because a lot of times people feel a little bit disabled by that introversion. So I want to reframe it in our conversation today. So what are some strengths that introverts have that you can share?
Well, I think we have a lot, and we don’t recognize them because we do them all the time. It’s sort of like you know when you’re close to anything you don’t really see it. You know; you’ve misplaced your keys, and you go around, and they’re right there in front of you after you’ve looked for a half hour and you know now you found them right where you put them. They’re always there ready for us.
But we’ve bought into, unfortunately, some of the misconceptions.
Introverts are reflective
So, what I find in the people that I work with is that we are we are very reflective, right? That’s also the difference you’ll notice when we’re with people. If you’re a little slower to respond, it’s not that you don’t have a response, it’s that you’re taking the time to think it through, to kind of look into your mind, you know which is going through your brain, the neurons and all the pathways and trying to bring something up that as you’re reflecting on it, you think is going to be the most important thing for that person to take away.
So the very fact that we are more self-reflective, typically, because nothing is all introvert or extrovert, but it’s like, get rid of that because it’s like, I am not always heard, extrovert and a lot of that comes from I was born Italian, nothing but Italian. Growing up in an Italian family is very different probably than growing up in a quiet or nationality family. It’s just the way it is. It’s just a big difference.
So we bring more to the table, but I think in general more introverts do a lot more self-reflection. And you can tell that when you’re speaking and how quickly someone might be speaking, in particular, the first time you meet them. And then how, as they’re asked a question and they’re just a little hesitant to answer it not because they don’t have any answer or simply that again, their brain is going through a little bit different process. And they’re going to take a few more seconds if we could be patient to say it.
That’s definitely a big strength particularly when it comes to business but also think about it the way the world is so crazy now. Physically when we’re in conversation with family and friends and maybe we’re in disagreement. You know maybe we don’t want to even say anything. Right? And you don’t have to, but maybe you do want to say something, and you have thought about it, and now you’re finally ready to get in. So being self-reflective is a very big strength.
Introverts are natural planners
14:00 I think also, we’re better at planning because our brain is accessing that part of our brain, much more than the extroverts brain, (introvert) is going over to that part of the brain that really likes to plan and think things through and pull in from learning.
And just think about when you have a meeting. This might be an example people can relate to. I used to hate meetings that I would go to when I was in corporate, the corporate world. And nobody would send out an agenda ahead of time. That’s pretty devastating to read more history.
Then we need to know what is going on! (laughs)
What are we going to talk about? then you get, and there is no agenda. That’s your big tip-off! This is more of an extrovert. Because no, I don’t know one more introverted type person who goes into a meeting without an agenda.
15:00 I used to work in a computer company and the wife was, the wife and husband had different C-level positions right. And the wife was the more extroverted, and the husband was definitely more introverted. You could tell that by his demeanor you know, slower to speak and very reflective in front of you. All these visual things that you get to know. But there was always an agenda with him, never an agenda with her.
And if you met with them one on one, be ready to spend way more time allotted on your calendar for her than him, because you will be diverting into all kinds of topics. (laughing) So you know pace yourself, it’s going to be a little rock n roll here, little roller coaster ride but that’s, our planning, and I think more. I don’t know Karen. I think more today it would be appreciated if we would bring some of our introvert planning to the table, because there’s, so much going on right?
I don’t know who has the capacity to really manage technology in every way. You know between smart phones and TVs and computers and radios and all these things that we’re asked to do. I think we all need to like take a little bit of a rest. And when you’ve got a planner, then you know that it might be.
My husband and I went out to maybe, some of your listeners are in this beautiful area of the U.S., Sedona Arizona; it’s been about a six-time usually on the plane right. But I never planned the entire day. And this time I decided “you know what, I’m going to step back and be married to this guy for 47 years this year.” I was going to see how it goes, If I let him take over.
17:00 I actually just went along very gladly with whatever he planned for the day. So we, what I’m saying here is as a planner, we can turn it on and off. But I think sometimes; we might have it more in the off switch position because we don’t think it brings anything to the table.
But in fact, every part of life and business needs people who plan well. You know what I mean?
We’ve got self-reflection, we’ve got planning. Well, I think one more at least I’d like to do things in threes very three. (laughing) I think it was like Catholic upbringing.
Go for it! What’s the third one?
Introverts excel in one-to-one relationships
I think it’s that we really are good relationally. Now I can just hear extroverts maybe laughing, who are listening in. But here’s the thing.
If you, let’s go back to that networking scene; okay you mingled, you did the grip-and-grin, you collected a couple of business cards because you really don’t need to collect a hundred like my husband usually did. Two or three or so. They’re both. You’re going to end up out of 100 business cards, only wanting to contact two or three people anyway. So what difference does it make?
We planned better at the outcome. We’re going to meet 2 to 3 people, but in the end, you have to talk with people one to one, right?
So, introverts excel at that! And one of the reasons we excel, is again when we’re one to one, the conversation can go wide, it can go deep, or it can end, right? We know that it isn’t going to work for us one-to-one. But we so often don’t think about our ability to communicate better one-to-one as affecting our relationships in a broader sense of almost every relationship we have.
So we are good one-to-one communicators. Then that means that we can be good even on the platform as a speaker, at a meeting, anywhere. So I think once you realize that, that one to one communication preference, because that is where we have a preference, we’d rather not be in front of people.
That’s OK because there are things that we do. There are behaviors that we’ve actually put in place, and actually, people see when we’re communicating one-to-one with them, that would benefit us no matter what size group we’re in if we bring that strength to a bigger platform, then we could let go of a lot of things that hold us back.
The power of empaths
19:59 I love that. And what I hear you saying is that we are good, we’re good at making an authentic connection with people one-on-one which does translate to speaking to larger audiences.
And so when we look at the power of these highly influential empaths who are, you know spreading their message and their influence to thousands of people in their work. This is what we’re talking about where, you know, you use what you have.
And part of this relational skill of being able to connect in with people is part of being an empath, is part of being an introvert, and someone who is sensitive. And you can use that to really tune into the audience the people that you’re working with. And you know to make some clear decisions.
And I also love what you’ve said Patricia about introverts having that tendency to plan. And it reminded me of, you know, and I mentioned this before. When I was teaching, and I had some brilliant introverted students who would have this beautiful report written out, it was typed beautifully, everything, you know. All the all the visual aids and everything were beautiful, but they would not want to get up and share their work.
And you know a lot of people were not aware of how talented, how gifted, how prepared, you know, how much integrity the student had. So you know I think people run into that block often times and even into adulthood where it’s like OK. Some people don’t feel comfortable with putting themselves out there.
So what are some ways that introverts can get past some of the fears or some of the stigma attached to being quiet? Because they do have a lot to offer. So what are some tools that you share with some of your coaching clients of how to maybe reframe or some specific strategies that you can share around that?
Watch for possibly another portion transcript of the interview, Drop Your Introvert Label and Delight Yourself with Peace and Success.
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